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Greek Beef and Tomato Stew with Orzo (Giouvetsi)

4 to 6 Servings

2½ hours

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Giouvetsi (sometimes spelled youvetsi) is a meaty, tomato-rich stew flavored with alliums, spices and herbs. The meat for this traditional Greek dish—that often is paired with orzo—is commonly lamb, but Alexandra Manousakis and Afshin Molavi of Manousakis Winery in Crete use beef. This is our adaptation of their recipe. Often the orzo is simmered right into the braise, but we prefer to cook it separately, spoon it into bowls, then ladle on the stew. This way, the flavors and textures are more distinct. Anthotyros is the type of cheese Manousakis and Molavi use for finishing their giouvetsi, but we’ve opted for easier to find feta or Italian ricotta salata. The salty, tangy shreds are a perfect complement to the savory-sweetness of the stew.

4 to 6



Don’t forget to uncover the pot when the beef is just shy of tender, after about 1¼ hours of covered cooking. This allows some of the liquid to evaporate so the stew reaches the proper consistency and the flavors become deeper, richer and more concentrated.

2½ hours


  • 1

    large yellow onion, peeled

  • 1

    pound ripe tomatoes, halved


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Fred A.
June 5, 2022
Easy and full of flavor
Made this twice and it's pretty easy as well as a nice change of pace from goulash or beef Burgundy. I think lamb would work as well. The 2nd time I added frozen/thawed artichoke hearts and pine nuts towards the end as that was in a restaurant version from my favorite Greek place back in DC. I also used grated ricotta salata as I find it's better than grocery store feta.